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Aug 7, 2011 6:04 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Escape To New York Canceled Sunday Due To Rain

Aug 10, 2011 10:33 AM

Despite the cancellation due to weather of the third and final day of the Escape to New York Festival on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, the festival’s organizers said they have committed to return next summer for a second go and are offering free entry in 2012 to this year’s disappointed ticket holders.

Prior to the cancellation of the last day’s music and entertainment, attendance had been good, a spokesperson for the event’s organizer, British festival impresario Freddie Fellowes, said on Monday.

“The attendance was good on Friday night and beat expectations on Saturday,” the festival’s public relations coordinator, Pamela Workman, said in an email. “Our capacity was 5,000 attendees on Saturday, which we definitely met.”

Organizers said they had never expected to be at full capacity every day of the festival in only its first year. They would not discuss revenues from or costs of the festival or how much the cancellation of the last day would cost the organizers.

The decision to cancel Sunday’s scheduled events came from the Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Trustees, who said they were concerned about the safety of attendees and potential damage to the Shinnecock Reservation grounds, which will host the tribe’s annual powwow on Labor Day weekend.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused our festivalgoers,” organizers said in a statement on Sunday. “Out of respect for our gracious hosts, the Shinnecock Nation, we made this difficult but necessary decision per their request.”

Heavy rains on Saturday night and Sunday morning caused flooding in several areas of the festival grounds and power outages on the reservation that the Trustees worried would worsen and tangle the flow of crowds on the event grounds.

“The current forecast is predicting a significant chance of precipitation, which may create further damage,” Trustee Fred Bess said on Sunday. “In addition, there are safety concerns as a result of the rain and adverse conditions that may affect general safety of both attendees and working personnel.”

The festival organizers said refunds would be issued to anyone who had paid for Sunday’s planned entertainment. Those who had purchased Sunday day passes can contact their ticket vendors for a full refund. Holders of weekend passes will be given 30-percent refunds or can request two full-weekend passes for the 2012 festival. More information about refunds will be posted on the festival website, www.escape2ny.com, as they are finalized.

As the sun broke through on Sunday afternoon, those who had paid thousands to rent luxury tents in a campground set up at the Southampton Elks Lodge were treated to a bonus performance at the camping site on Sunday by the Jolly Boys, one of the bands that had been scheduled to play on Sunday.

The rest of Sunday’s showcase was to feature Of Montreal and six other bands. In addition, the festival had offered a variety of other entertainment venues and vehicles for attendees to entertain themselves and each other. In addition to the two music stages, there were dance tents with DJs, a lounge area filled with fresh rose petals, an inflatable cage filled with stuffed panda bear dolls, an intellectual discussion area, bars and food stations scattered around the wooded grounds.

The day’s entertainment was scheduled to start at noon, but when festival attendees began arriving at 11 a.m. they were initially told the start of the show was going to be delayed. The official cancellation wasn’t announced until late in the afternoon.

The cancellation came just a day after the announcement that the Music To Know Festival, planned for this coming weekend at the East Hampton Airport, had been cancelled entirely, due to poor ticket sales.

Mr. Fellowes is the creator of the Secret Garden Party Festival in England each July, which drew only 500 people the first year he held it on a private farm nine years ago. That event now draws as many as 30,000 people each year and has been compared to America’s “Burning Man” Festival in Nevada for its eclectic collection of artistic and intellectual entertainment and the colorful costumes and performances attendees organize themselves.

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Ugh.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 7, 11 6:12 PM
Truth be told , there probably was some concern that the concert would have turned into another Woodstock with attendees running around playing slip n' slide nehkid in the mud...:))
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Aug 8, 11 12:14 AM
2 members liked this comment
So let me get this straight. The Shinnecock Tribe had an adverse reaction to large amounts of people and traffic trampling their property because it just couldn't handle the volume. So what they did was stop this event dead in its tracks because they felt threatened that their possessions and property wouldn't hold up against the increased volume. And they got uptight and cancelled the thing outright. Perhaps they know exactly how others feel about the casino now. Except nobody will be able ...more
Aug 8, 11 6:46 AM appended by HSA
Right on High Hat! And boo to you two inconsiderate people below me. Where you belong.
By HSA (68), southampton on Aug 8, 11 6:46 AM
HSA, I feel comfortable in saying that you have no idea wtf you are talking about.
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Aug 8, 11 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
Is there any group outside of the teaparty which you do not hold in contempt?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 8, 11 11:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
HSA, ignorance is bliss eh?
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Aug 11, 11 9:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
We live 2 miles from the reservation, but the music was loud and disturbing. And, of course, the traffic was worse than ever. This is not a good idea for the Hamptons in the summer. It should NOT be allowed next year.- no matter where it is held.
By AFB (31), NYC/SH on Aug 8, 11 1:59 PM
I'm sure that there is never anything that that you do that many of us would find disturbing. Who do you propose should NOT allow it, and on what legal grounds so as not to inconvenience you?

The simple solution for you, should the event be repeated next summer, is to stay in your "NYC" home and just forget about your "SH" home for one weekend.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 8, 11 2:16 PM
I live 300 feet from the pow wow grounds and even though I was out of town, I asked my husband about this. He said he loved it and the festival was great. He said it was louder than the pow wow, but not anything out of hand.

As for traffic.....really? We have traffic all the time out here for all sorts of events. You expect me to believe that the traffic for this concert which has maybe 10,000 people throughout the weekend caused more traffic that 30,000 + pow wow Labor Day weekend or ...more
By LMVT (56), Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Aug 8, 11 5:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
You seem a bit jealous that my husband and I, who both work full time, can afford a NYC and a Southampton home? What does that have to do with the noise and traffic?
By AFB (31), NYC/SH on Aug 10, 11 9:17 AM
Considering the many second homeowners such as yourself are the ones who cause the daily noise and traffic explosions in our area from May to October, it's rather hypocritical to be complaining about a festival actual residents finally found some enjoyment in. I heard escape 2 NY was fabulous and the photos were amazing. We will certainly be attending if they bless us with another event next summer.
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on Aug 10, 11 9:30 AM
I'd like to add that every second HOUSE that is owned by you free market egotisitcal, self entitled abusers, drives the cost of housing out of reach of most of the middle class people you depend on for services.

Harsh, but very true. Thanks for importing your extraneous cost of living into our neighborhoods.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 10, 11 8:44 PM
Kind of early tonight?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 10, 11 9:06 PM
Hey cochise, looks like there's some bliss over here, too!
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 11, 11 9:59 PM
AFB, I like in Southampton and work in Sag Harbor. Yesterday it took me over an hour to get home. That was the worst traffic I have seen all summer and it didn't have anything to do with any concert, it was mainly the overabundance of 2nd home owners on the East End and the trade parade that follows them.

The worst traffic I have ever seen was around the last US Open @ Shinnecock. It took me an hour to get from the Canal to SH Village with that disaster. Again, nothing to do with any concert.

In ...more
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Aug 13, 11 8:18 AM
AFB - same with the US Open right? We should not have ANY elaborate cultural events in the Hamptons because... you don't like traffic 1 weekend? All of the people that trek from god knows where to attend these festivals and golf tournaments and whatever other events are around would be thrilled to live in such a culturally relevant place. The displeasures of some should not outweigh the pleasures of others
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 8, 11 2:17 PM
Has an ongoing music festival EVER been cancelled in mid-stream because of rain? I can't recall one. The Newport Jazz Festival was rained on just as hard as Escape to New York and IT wasn't cancelled. Other news sources state that the event was cancelled because the Shinnecocks were fearful that the site of their Labor Day powwow would be damaged. If true, ticketholders were sacrificed in favor of tribal interests. A cautionary tale.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 8, 11 2:29 PM
I was out of town this weekend, but I can vouch that there was severe flooding and we lost power at my house. I wonder if the Newport Jazz Festival in its first year would have had the same problem if it would be an issue? Anytime you do an experimental event like this, there will be kinks that need to be worked out. I'm sure there was concern for the grounds, but it has rained PLENTY of times during pow wow and the grounds clean-up fine. And to say it was just "Shinnecock sacrificing ticketholders ...more
By LMVT (56), Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Aug 8, 11 5:00 PM
3 members liked this comment
There have been MANY shows cancelled due to inclement weather. Especially if there is any lightning activity in the area.

There is a pheonomena that will actually build a charge in a singer's microphone, and deliver an electrical shock them by creating an electrical arc between the singer, and the mic. First thing you notice is a blue aura around the mic, and then ZAP!

I agree with unelana below. Safety first. PERIOD.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 11, 11 10:09 PM
HHS, do you know anything about the E2NY business model? I doubt it. It doesnt look like not knowing the facts doesnt stop you from talking though, lol.

At a hefty $$$ per glamping tent, E2NY made their money there. The festival itself was probably in the red. E2NY didnt need the festival, they needed a reason for people to rent the glamping tents, which is what the festival gave them.

Again, its got nothing to do with the pow wow. The only cautionary tale we have here is that ...more
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Aug 13, 11 9:19 AM
HEY, SAFETY FIRST!!! NO MATTER WHAT!!! Had the Shinnecock Nation not made the decision to cancel, Lord knows what would have happened, and if it did, I would hate to see what the comments would be. This was the first E2NY hosted by the Shinnecock Nation and I'm sure all kinds of precautions were taken throughout the event, which made for a very successful and wonderful event that was well-organized, without incident, and both sides of the event were in total communication with each other at all ...more
By unelana (29), North Wales PA on Aug 10, 11 12:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Had a ball!
By me (6), southampton on Aug 10, 11 1:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
good clean fun, thank you shinnecock nation !!!
By someguy (6), southampton on Aug 12, 11 8:45 PM
to cochise316:

NY Times (August 7):

"The cancellation was ordered by the tribal leaders, who feared the grounds would be damaged if the concert went ahead at noon as planned. . . .

The potential damage to the Shinnecock’s pow-wow grounds was a worry for tribal leaders from the start of negotiations with Mr. Fellowes and his associates, tribal officials said before the festival. The grounds are the site of an annual Labor Day convention of Native Americans that is ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 13, 11 10:59 AM
The "attendees", are receiving partial refunds.

And, no matter what, electricity, and water DON'T mix.

Electrical cables have nothing to do with the phenomena. Nature does, however. A bolt starts in the ground, and travels upward the vast majority of the time. There is no way to suppress this, and the only possible recourse, is to redirect the voltage. On average, the danger zone around that bolt can encompass a reasonably large circle. The bolt accumulates conically, and then ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 14, 11 11:43 PM
to Mr. Z:

As I stated, the Newport Jazz Festival faced the same weather and didn't cancel AND I couldn't find a record of any other music festival that had ever canceled in mid-stream. These facts, plus the fact that the Shinnecocks had previously expressed concern that the festival would degrade the site of their pow-wow make me suspicious that weather was an excuse rather than a cause.

Cochise316 added the observation that the festival performance itself was a financial drag ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 15, 11 12:38 AM
Well, we serviced the festival. The grounds would have been "Woodstock" all over again had the show gone on. Most likely, ankle deep mud with all the foot traffic, and stormwater.

That's a fact, Jack...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 16, 11 9:30 PM
most music festival tickets clearly state ''rain or shine'' .
By kaluss (113), Southampton on Aug 14, 11 12:45 AM
1 member liked this comment